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  1. #1
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    Tree Decorated with Lottery Tickets by Elementary Students Removed

    Tree Decorated by Okla. Students Removed
    OKLAHOMA CITY - A Christmas tree that elementary school students decorated with discarded lottery tickets was removed from the state Capitol over the weekend after a lawmaker complained it was inappropriate.

    Rep. Randy Terrill, who opposes the lottery, said he spotted the tree on Wednesday when it was erected as part of the governor's annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony. The Republican lawmaker called the Westwood Elementary School principal, who apologized and asked the governor's office to remove the tree.

    Sherry Fair, spokeswoman for Oklahoma City Public Schools, said the teachers and children did not intend to offend anyone. The teachers went to various convenience stores and got used lottery tickets, which were cut into various geometric shapes and placed on the tree.

    "They had been studying about the lottery and understood that the lottery money benefits public schools," Fair said. "They came up with a theme about the gift of education."

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20051206/...DMzBHNlYwM3MDM-

  2. #2
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    Kudos to the kids. What a brilliant idea.

    I'm all for free speech.
    I'm not usually for political protests of sorts, though.
    I'm big on giving my opinion whether people wanna hear it or not, but not big on voicing it so loudly that it disturbs too many people;
    but I see nothing wrong with what they did. It wasn't hurting anyone.
    It was quietly making a point.

    I'm not a person who buys lottery tickets either.
    But, I'm all for education. I support it greatly.
    I think we are way behind what we could be teaching kids.

  3. #3
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    Well this gets into the whole debate of Christmas and Christians but I agree with taking the lottery tickets off a Christmas tree. Lottery = gambling and that is not something that is looked upon favorably by some Christians. Personlly, if someone wants to purchase lottery tickets, that is their business and they can spend their money how they choose. I just came back from Vegas and did a little gambling.

    IMO there are certain things that aren't necessarily wrong, but just shouldn't be mixed with Christmas.

    The kids will recover I'm sure.

  4. #4
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    wow...I gotta say, what an idea to decorate a tree with!

    I am not against gambling, lottery or Vegas or whatever, but do have an issue with bringing young children or education into it.

    Our parent group has an opportunity every year to do scratch-its as a little fundraiser. we choose not to participate because of the message it sends to the kids...the excitement over the hopes and the winnings.

    Our state also uses lottery funds to partially support education and while I am glad the schools receive the funds, I hate to see a source of funding that is so unreliable...

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by lynie
    wow...I gotta say, what an idea to decorate a tree with!

    I am not against gambling, lottery or Vegas or whatever, but do have an issue with bringing young children or education into it.

    Our parent group has an opportunity every year to do scratch-its as a little fundraiser. we choose not to participate because of the message it sends to the kids...the excitement over the hopes and the winnings.

    Our state also uses lottery funds to partially support education and while I am glad the schools receive the funds, I hate to see a source of funding that is so unreliable...

    I agree. IMO it does seem to "promote" or make it seem like playing the lottery is a way to get ahead.

    Again, it's not necessarily wrong but just in poor taste to associate it with Christmas. But that is JMO.

  6. #6
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    I think it's kind of cute. Even though I'm not sure of that stats for that state, I know that Michigan is big on telling everyone just how much the lottery contributes to the public school system:

    http://www.michigan.gov/lottery/0,16...4091--,00.html

    The Michigan Lottery has contributed approximately $12.9 Billion to Michigan's educational system since 1973, including more than $600 Million in six of the past eight fiscal years.

    2005 - $667.6 million
    2004 - $644.8 million
    2003 - $586 million
    2002 - $613.5 million
    2001 - $587 million
    2000 - $618.5 million

  7. #7
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    Then I looked into it a little further, and found this link which details most states and what percent of the lottery is contributed towards education:

    http://www.ecs.org/clearinghouse/57/32/5732.htm

    and for OK, where this occured, it's only 30%, but that's better than a lot of states that don't contribute at all.

  8. #8
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    I am certainly happy that our state shares a little bit of the profits with the education system. What I dislike is putting it in front of the kids like "look at this, isn't this fun to get these little cards or pick these numbers! You can win money!"

    IMO it is no different than having Joe Camel or Bacardi sponsoring a fundraiser. Chances are good the majority of the kids will be smart enough and educated enough to know that smoking is bad and overindulging isn't smart. However just like any other addiction gambling can have horrid consequences...by putting a tree up or participating in a scratch off promotion we are saying hey, this isn't all bad and is kinda fun!!

  9. #9
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    Maybe someone here can answer a question for me. Catholic Schools all across the USA sponsor weekly Bingo Games for fundraising. What is the difference between that and what is being discussed?

  10. #10
    I missed the commandment that says "thou shall not gamble"....

    imho


  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pook
    Then I looked into it a little further, and found this link which details most states and what percent of the lottery is contributed towards education:

    http://www.ecs.org/clearinghouse/57/32/5732.htm

    and for OK, where this occured, it's only 30%, but that's better than a lot of states that don't contribute at all.
    Not really, considering they took the money that was previously earmarked for education and used it elsewhere. The schools are no better off.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by jannuncutt
    Maybe someone here can answer a question for me. Catholic Schools all across the USA sponsor weekly Bingo Games for fundraising. What is the difference between that and what is being discussed?



    Not to mention that it is much ado about not too much, imho. We worry about this kind of thing, and think of the things on TV, etc.

    Eve

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by lynie
    IMO it is no different than having Joe Camel or Bacardi sponsoring a fundraiser. Chances are good the majority of the kids will be smart enough and educated enough to know that smoking is bad and overindulging isn't smart.
    But we drink wine at church

    Just kiddin'

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by sandraladeda
    I missed the commandment that says "thou shall not gamble"....

    imho
    I know you didn't address me specifically but if my post suggested that I felt there was such a commandment, then I want to clarify. I just think it's in poor taste, not necessarily wrong to associate it with Christmas. But that's my opinion, I'm not saying the tree should've been taken down or the tickets taken off. I guess those of us who find it in poor taste should just suck it up, since we're so wrong for feeling that way. No worries on my end.

    And I'm sure the kids who were disappointed will adjust fine.

  15. #15
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    I think they were being creative and taking refuse and re-using it. I don't think the statement was particularly political, just a gesture.If it was political it was to state more should be done for schools not the lottery. No biggie.

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